Nationals MP Broad quitting politics to avoid being a 'half-laughing stock'

Nationals Member for Mallee Andrew Broad during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Source: AAP

Nationals MP Andrew Broad said his six year political career has taken its toll and its time for him to step back.

Fallen Nationals MP Andrew Broad is quitting politics to ensure he doesn't remain a diminished figure and "half-laughing stock" in parliament, after a scandal involving a younger woman.

Mr Broad will not recontest his Victorian seat of Mallee following revelations the married MP travelled to Hong Kong and dined with a younger woman he met online, charging taxpayers for the domestic leg of the trip.

"I could probably have toughed it out and let the storm blow over, stepped back from the ministry and maybe could have won the seat ... but for what?," he told Sunraysia Daily on Friday.

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He holds his Victorian seat of Mallee on a 21 per cent margin. 

Mr Broad said he regretted making the "dumb mistake" of meeting with a younger woman, instead of his wife, and hoped that the time away from politics would help him address his mistakes. 

“I think I’d be lucky to have spent 10 weeks at home last year,” the 43-year-old said.

“That’s no excuse for meeting someone who wasn’t my wife and having dinner with her. I’m not saying it is (but) the job does have huge effects on family life.”

A woman, named as "Amy", claimed she met the married 43-year-old in November for dinner and he told her he was there for a "conference" but "shouldn't have been here at all".

The woman also claimed Mr Broad lied about his age, sent her numerous text messages that turned to a "more sexual nature" following the dinner and compared himself to "James Bond"

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He agreed that the intake of female MPs in his party needed to grow.

"You get better policy if you have a greater diversity of life experience and that includes a diversity of gender ...(but) it still needs to be a person of great ability to do the job," he said.

Being in the public eye under the demands of parliament took its toll, the MP says.

"I’ve got to be honest; I’m happy to be stepping away,” Mr Broad said.

“The job had made me not as nice a person.”

Two months ago, Mr Broad formally handed in his resignation as the assistant minister to the deputy prime minister on 9 November.

National Party members will vote for a new candidate for Mallee on January 19, with deputy leader Bridget McKenzie counting out a run for the lower house spot.

- with AAP

Source SBS News

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